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One thing to keep in mind is that a hub that feels a tiny bit loose when out of the bike will likely have no play once you put it in the frame/fork. The clamping force on the axle nuts will tighten things up, removing the excess play.


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A bearing that is adjusted too tight can actually seize completely. This happened to me once. I overhauled my front hub and tightened the bearing cones too much. Result: a front wheel that plain stopped turning at some point. Too tight adjustment will exert more pressure on the cones and cups, and will probably wear out the bearings faster than too loose ...



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